Over the past couple years, 350.org has worked with partners to build a fossil fuel divestment campaign from the ground-up in the United Kingdom. We raised our campaign profile through our partnership with The Guardian last year, and we continue to form partnerships across a range of sectors. Over the last eight months, we’ve seen the number of local government divestment campaigns in the UK increase 150%: jumping from just 19 to 49.
We worked with allies to develop a groundbreaking tool to calculate the fossil fuel investments of local government pension funds, and discovered that pensions hold a total of £14 billion in fossil fuel investments. This tool helped inspire the development of local government divestment groups across the country. The campaigns are pushing funds to consider reinvestment in green, socially just economic models and opposing government proposals to ban divestment. As a result, the 49 local groups that we are supporting secured divestment commitments from eight local governments, financial movements from pension funds, and mobilized over 50 actions with The Climate Coalition. 350.org staff have supported local organisers, linked them with grassroots groups, and mobilized the networks at key moments.
Throughout the year, we’re bringing campaigners together to share skills and experiences. We’re also working with contacts in the City of London to develop robust financial arguments for divesting. We will provide additional support to five of our strongest campaigns and develop and showcase best organizing practices across the divestment network. We’ll support these campaigns with webinars, crafting a newsletter series, linking them with financial professionals, and by conducting regional trainings. Our campaigning approach in the UK has always been highly collaborative, and we will continue to work with a range of partners to push divestment across health, faith, education, union, and charity sectors. Thanks to your support and partnership, pressure is building across the UK to divest from fossil fuels, and this is sending a strong signal to governments and the London Stock Exchange that the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end.